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At The Epicenter: What if all Covid‑19 deaths in Brazil happened in your neighborhood?

Find out what would happen if your address was the epicenter of the Covid‑19 pandemic in Brazil.

Published on .
Data updated on ...

Up until yesterday, thousands of people had died due to Covid‑19 in Brazil.

But it can be difficult to visualize what this means in a country so large. These deaths are spread over all 27 Brazilian states. More than half of all Brazilian cities have been affected.

What if they had happened near you?

Since the major Covid‑19 outbreaks happened in a few metropolitan areas, many Brazilians don’t see the effects of the disease in their daily lives.

In order to make the dimension of our losses easier to understand, this simulation shows what would happen if all confirmed Covid‑19 deaths in the country happened around your address.

After you start this experience, you will see a circle drawn around your location: in such a scenario, everyone who lives in that area would have died.

How far would this emptiness go?

Data protection: Lupa does not store the addresses you provide and recommends caution when sharing personal data.

You can know more by reading our Privacy Policy.

How does the simulation work?

The death radius displayed around you depends on your location and on the number of people who live near you.

In order to determine the size of the radius, we use data from the Brazilian census tracts. The tracts are small territorial blocks which were drawn by IBGE – the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics.

Some tracts are buildings in a city. Others, blocks or neighborhoods. We know exactly how many people lived in each of these areas in 2010, when the last census was done.

The simulation sums the population of all the tracts around you until it reaches a total that is close to the total Covid‑19 deaths in the country.

For this calculation, we use the death count as reported by Brasil.io, a group of volunteers that has been gathering data from epidemiological reports since the beginning of the pandemic.

The full methodology involves drawing increasing radiuses, calculating intersections and making statistical estimates.

The source code is available on GitHub, along with a more detailed description of all the math behind this piece.

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This project was made in partnership by Agência Lupa and Google News Initiative. All the professionals involved worked remotely.

Making of →

Art direction
Alberto Cairo
Data and storytelling
Rodrigo Menegat
Design and development
Vinicius Sueiro
Tiago Maranhão
Distribution strategy
Gilberto Scofield Jr.
Natália Leal
Google News Initiative
Simon Rogers, Marco Túlio Pires


This is your neighborhood on March 16, 2020. On this day, Brazil confirmed its first death due to the novel coronavirus.

The victim was Manoel Messias Freitas Filho, 62, who lived in the city of São Paulo. On the map, however, we simulate that one of your neighbors died instead.

A week later, on March 24, 2020, another 46 people had died due to Covid‑19 in Brazil. Again, let’s pretend they lived in your neighborhood.

Today, after the first death was confirmed, the death toll reached in the whole country.

Let’s imagine that they all lived around you: everyone in this circle would have died. It has a radius of , centered on your location.

If all deaths had happened in , a city near you, it would be enough to erase it from the map. No one would be left alive.

If all deaths had happened in your city, it would have been erased from the map. No one would be left alive.

According to 2019 estimates, around people live in . That is less than the total confirmed deaths in the country.

According to 2019 estimates, around people live in . That is less than the total confirmed deaths in the country.

Now let’s see how big the death radius would be in a large city, not far from where you are: .

If all deaths had happened around , , the circle around it would have a radius of .

In real life, however, Covid‑19 deaths aren’t clustered in a single place. Now, the map shows where the Brazilians that died due to the disease actually lived.

Since these people were not around you, it may be hard for you to see the scale of those losses in your daily life. Nevertheless, even if unnoticed, they all existed.

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This image shows how far your neighborhood would vanish if all deaths in Brazil had happened around you.

The results displayed on the map are an approximation.